This past April, Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts, with support from the Pinellas Community Foundation, proudly hosted a weeklong artist-in-residence program with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts teaching artist & puppeteer, Daniel Barash.

Over 1,650+ students from various Pinellas County public schools and community organizations experienced the magic of shadow puppetry in an immersive, hands-on learning experience that combined art appreciation, history, social studies, language arts, team building and much more. Additionally, over 80 local educators attended professional development sessions led by Mr. Barash. These workshops help to bolster curriculum and integrate the arts more fully into our local classrooms.

Funding for this program was due in part to the Janet A. Huntley Art Enrichment for Youth Grant through the Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF).

For over ten years, Mr. Daniel Barash has been selected as just one of fifty artists to serve on The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ National Teaching Artist Roster. He holds a master’s degree in elementary education from New York University and has “pioneered the use of shadow puppetry in diverse formal and informal education settings.”

Exposure to this high level of artistry offers students a plethora of cognitive, social, and emotional developmental benefits, and the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts continues to bring these opportunities to students of all circumstances, including those in historically underserved communities, students enrolled in Title I schools, and children living with homelessness.

Led by Dr. Sharon Reid-Kane, VP & Chief Education and Community Engagement Officer, Ruth Eckerd Hall’s ongoing collaboration with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been transformational to the lives of students across the Tampa Bay region for over 6+ years. For more information on our Education & Outreach Programs, including upcoming events and opportunities, please visit our website: Education & Community | Ruth Eckerd Hall